Five Ways to GREEN at Home
Going green doesn’t have to be difficult, learn some easy ways to green your daily routine with these helpful tips from The Lenox Hotel, offering sustainable accommodations in Boston:
Alternative Uses For Lemons
Lemons are extremely versatile and have many uses, so instead of throwing out old or half-used lemons, use them in the following ways!
- Freshen the fridge and remove odors by dabbing lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leaving it in the fridge for several hours.
- Refrigerate soggy lettuce in a bowl of lemon water, dry, and enjoy now-crisp lettuce!
- Disinfect cuts and scrapes.
- Clean tarnished brass or steel by mixing lemon juice and salt, and applying to stains.
- Sprinkle some lemon juice on guacamole to keep it from browning.
- In addition, drinking lemon water has a multitude of benefits:
- Prevents kidney stones
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps with respiratory problems
- Anti-aging properties
- Boosts your immune system
Green Your Coffee Routine
With over 500 billion cups of coffee served globally every year, our morning start to the day has a big effect on deforestation and climate change.
- Coffee is derived from plants that require a special climate to thrive in, so slight changes in temperature can threaten crops. Buying coffee locally can help cut down on transportation emissions, so look for local roasters like Share coffee.
- Drink coffee at home: Use reusable coffee filters or opt for a manual coffee grinder or French press to save energy.
- Bring your own coffee cup if you purchase coffee on the go. Some stores (like Starbucks) offer a discount if you use a reusable mug!
- If you use pods or K-cups, recycle them through programs like Grounds to Grow on.
- Look for fair trade and organic certifications to further ensure your coffee is being sourced responsibly.
Whiten Your Clothes Without Toxins
Here are some tips to whiten your clothing without resorting to bleach or other harmful chemicals:
- Wash whites separately, reducing the risk of tinting your clothing.
- Pre-soak clothes in lemon water, a natural bleaching agent.
- Use a cup of white vinegar in your wash. By the end of the cycle the smell will disappear and your laundry will be soft, white and disinfected.
- Add a cup of baking soda to the laundry detergent. It will help remove acids and grease stains in clothing, and is a cleaner and healthier alternative to bleach
Vegetables And Herbs You Can Eat Once And Grow Forever
- When you cut the tops off of carrots, don’t throw them away! Place them in a bowl of water and they will sprout carrot top greens to garnish salad.
- In just a few days you can regrow scallions from scraps – an inch long piece attached to the root, left in a glass of water, will grow quickly.
- When garlic starts to sprout, the green shoots are too bitter to cook with but you can put them in a glass of water and grow garlic sprouts. Enjoy these sprouts in salads and sandwiches.
- Romaine lettuce: place an intact stem from a head of lettuce in 1Ž2 inch of water and have full grown leaves in 3-4 weeks (this works for bok choy as well!)
- When placed in water, cilantro can grow roots long enough to plant in a pot. In a few months you’ll have a full plant!
Conserve Energy When You Cook
It takes a lot of energy to cook your food – think about how long it takes to boil a pot of water. Energy efficient appliances help reduce environmental impact, but there are even more ways to cut down on energy use.
- Choose the smallest pan that’ll get the job done, minimizing the amount of heat needed to cook your food. Also use flat bottom pans whenever you can, and try to keep them covered.
- Instead of switching off the stove once the food is done, consider turning off the heat partway through.
- Use only as much water as needed when boiling in a pot – every extra drop takes more energy to heat.
- If possible, put food in the oven as soon as you start preheating. Keep the oven door closed – it’s worth it to keep the glass clean so you can check on your food without opening the oven and releasing heat.
- Heating food in a microwave as opposed to the stove or oven can reduce energy usage as much as 80% (same goes for using a toaster oven to heat smaller foods rather than the oven).